In March 2018, after 18 months creating a brand new space for art and artists in Sunderland, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art will reopen with a major new commission with artist Fiona Crisp.

The generous 3000 square foot space inside National Glass Centre has an initial focus on artists whose work is being created across Europe, whether made in the Alps or the heart of fascist Rome, or from the most advanced laboratories in Italy to the eastern most city in the continent deep inside the former Soviet Union. The gallery’s opening programme also celebrates the achievements of artists living and working in North-East England, who share new visions of how we live now. In each of its exhibitions in 2018, an artist will reveal a brand new body of work for the first time.

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019 having been one of the very first contemporary art galleries in Britain. It has provided major international figures with their first UK exhibitions, including Harun Farocki (Germany) and Cory Arcangel (USA), and exhibited fourteen Turner Prize nominees.

Full archive of exhibitions, events and projects 2003–2018, click here.




Ralf Brög, Zero RPM Recrods

In 2019, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art will be 50 years old, being the direct descendent of ‘Bookshop Gallery’ founded in 1969 and its successor Ceolfrith Arts Centre, later Northern Centre for Contemporary Art. Despite the changes in location and name, the gallery’s commitment to innovative, experimental art has been a constant.

During its fifty years it has given UK premieres to artists from Sean Scully to Claes Oldenberg and Coosje van Bruggen, from Sam Taylor-Wood to Spartacus Chetwynd, and given the first UK shows to Cory Arcangel and Harun Farocki, several years before other galleries gave their achievements due recognition.

It is only in its current incarnation that the gallery has been able to acquire works from artists, in order to tell stories about the history of contemporary art as well as to create ‘news’. The exceptional generosity of artists we have worked with over the period has begun a collection of contemporary art for the city of Sunderland that now includes over a hundred works.

The gallery is also working closely with National Glass Centre to ensure that artists interested in working with glass are able to realise ambitious artists in new ways, working with world-leading makers based in the University of Sunderland.

A short introduction to the gallery’s activities is available at:


CIRCA Projects 'Bookshop', 2015/16

The gallery strongly supports artists’ development through every means possible, and is engaged in co-creating a series of monographs grounded in research about the artists in its collection and exhibition programme.

In 2018-19, large-scale monographs on the work of John Kippin, Dan Holdsworth, Chad McCail and John Askew will be published through our partnerships with international publishers Hatje Cantz, Kerber and Distanz.


Art Editions North (AEN) produces artists’ books, monographs and exhibition catalogues, alongside volumes of new research about curating and collecting contemporary art, and artists’ relationships to art’s institutions. Art Editions North is an imprint of the University of Sunderland, created in conjunction with Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, National Glass Centre and CIRCA Projects.

AEN’s catalogue of over sixty titles includes Rank: Picturing the Social Order 1516-2009 and monographs on the works of artists from the UK and internationally including Kelly Richardson, Jani Ruscica, Matt Stokes, and Katie Cuddon.

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. We are proud to work in partnership with National Glass Centre.

Temporary website for 2018/19 programme designed by O P E N A I R